The last week, and particularly Friday, has been absorbed by what I’m calling a Chaos Vortex. I’m sure you can figure out what I mean by that; you’ve probably experienced your own Chaos Vortex. Something chaotic happens, and maybe you jump in voluntarily (as I did), but it keeps spinning and spinning until it starts impacting things that never should have been touched by it. I’m being specifically vague about the particular issue because it’s not actually mine, but the chaos vortex has sucked in several church members, my job (praise God for an understanding boss!), and an overworked friend who is now hosting something I usually host.
It has gotten me thinking about the nature of sacrifice, though. I jumped into the situation voluntarily, and knowing it would be messy, but this week in particular has fallen out of the bounds of the anticipated chaos. Something has been put on me that I distinctly did not want. And while others have willingly jumped in to alleviate the pain for me, it shouldn’t be on any of our shoulders. But isn’t that sacrifice? Can something really be a sacrifice if it’s completely under your control? It occurs to me now that even Jesus’ death was a Chaos Vortex: it wasn’t just that he personally was whipped and executed, but it also impacted people like Joseph of Aramathea, who gave up his tomb, and Simon the Cyrene, who was forced to carry the cross because Jesus couldn’t bear it. This whole time, since I jumped into the situation months ago, I’ve been looking for some sort of specific heart-lesson, and I guess this is it: giving and sacrifice are messy in ways you would never expect.
Not quite two months ago, on Communion Sunday, I wrote this sonnet. It feels more real to me now than it did when I wrote it. I have no doubt that there will be moments in the future where it feels even more real.
Originally written May 6, 2018
“Lord, make me more like You,” I softly prayed,
As in my hands I held the bread and wine
In memory of that dark night You dined,
The fateful night when You would be betrayed—
“Lord, make me more like You.” You broke the bread—
Your body, whipped and battered, nailed and speared—
They cast lots for Your clothes—They mocked and jeered—
The Word of Life now left cold, silent, dead—
“Lord, make me more like You.” You drank the cup—
The next day, given vinegar to sip—
Your blood dripped out, and dripped and dripped and dripped—
Your life was never Yours—You gave it up—
“Lord, make me more like you.” Such suffering!
A broken self to match a broken king.